You could almost say teacher Gary Leafblad's students are killing him. In fact, today Mr. Leafblad will have his 51st planned heart attack to help students learn what to do in the case of an emergency. He clutches his chest and describes his symptoms to a group of attentive students who are carefully evaluating the situation.
"It's coordinating what do you need, what do you do, and can you think on your feet," said Leafblad, director of the Opportunities in Emergency Care program. "If a kid goes through my program, then they will have all of the certifications, and 50 hours of volunteering under their belt."
Osseo juniors and seniors in this two-year program are prepared to take the test to be an emergency medical responder when they turn 18. The program is a part of the Osseo Senior High's Health Science Magnet program, which is now entering its 27 year.
"I think the confidence they come out with, they are excited," said Leafblad. "I always say it gives them a direction an idea where they want to go."
Students here are confident they are heading in the right direction, since they recently placed first in a state emergency responder competition. Some of the students will be going to a national competition in Boise, Idaho in June.
"We were shocked at first," said Laura Siepmann, one of the students on the team. "I've worked so hard for it so I was so happy."
Besides learning in the classroom, they volunteer with real EMTs at school events, so when it's time to put their lifesaving skills to the test...they'll be ready.
"It's overwhelming at first, but I just keep practicing and practicing, so it's like natural habit to us," said Siepmann.
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